It’s been over a year since experimental electronic producer Bryce Linde, better known as Fortune Howl, has dropped a proper album. With “Earthbound,” released July 30, Fortune Howl brings his A-game, dropping a IDM masterpiece guaranteed to trance out any club on the planet.
What sets Fortune Howl apart from peers like Toro y Moi or James Blake is his extensive palette of sounds. There are the typical synth-scapes, glitchy samples, and drum machine beats characteristic of the genre, but Linde fills in gaps with samples of acoustic guitars, orchestral strings, white noise, old-school video game effects, and his own vocals. As a result, the trance-y, down tempo tunes are highly listenable, owing more to bands like Portishead than self-indulgent DJs.
And for a DJ (or whatever one guy with a laptop is referred to these days), this kid has sharp compositional skills. Fortune Howl is not content to drop a beat and trance out for six minutes at a time. Songs ebb, flow and evolve. These are expertly-crafted electronic compositions.
Chillwave, trance, shoegaze or IDM fans should check this out immediately, as it may very well be one of the better electronica albums of the year. It’s certainly one of the most original records this reviewer has heard in 2013. Earthbound, and the rest of Fortune Howl’s discography, can be downloaded at fortunehowl.bandcamp.com.